A World Cup Ski Jumping competition is coming to Lillehammer on December 3-5, and they are looking for volunteers to help with the event. Erik suggested it might be a good opportunity to meet some locals, speak a little Norwegian, and have fun. So, I emailed the contact people, making it very clear that I speak only a little Norwegian, but would be happy to help out.
I received a few emails thanking me for my interest, including one who stated he had "responsibilities to the press, and maybe you would be helpful" (or so confirmed Google Translate, when I copied and pasted his email into the web translating service). The next email was a little more complex, and from a different organizer, so I pasted the entire email into Google Translate. Here is the response:
Send over the dates for voluntary work in connection with toilet 2 to 5.11 in 2010.We have 2 girls / damersom participate in our group, and there had been very very positive with a girl.Give me feedback when it's convenient for you to be with.Welcome, you should be!
My reaction upon reading the translation?
TOILETS? I don't want to work in the TOILETS!
How. . . wha. . . ??? I didn't get ANY hint of toilets when I attempted my own translation. How was this possible? How did I get signed up for TOILETS???
Ohhhhh. . . .
As I glanced back to the original email, I realized the volunteer organizer had abbreviated "World Cup" to "WC". And Google had translated "WC" to. . . . toilets.
What a relief.